Constitution

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE AFRICAN ASSOCIATION OF MIYAGI (AFAM) 

Article I – NAME
The full name of the Association is African Association of Miyagi hereinafter refers to as AFAM.

Article II – MEMBERSHIP
Section 1.
Membership shall be open to all Africans who:
(a) subscribe to the objects of the organization
(b) are willing to make sacrifice for the attainment of the said objectives
(c) are willing to commit him/herself to tapping the potentials within him/her to their fullest.
(d) Membership shall be purely voluntary.

Section 2.
Associate membership shall be open to any non-African who has interest in Africa values.

Section 3.
Honorary membership shall be granted by the AFAM Executive Committee to people who have shown distinction, commitment, and an interest in the promotion of AFAM’s objectives as stated below.

Section 4.
All members above the age of 18, shall pay an annual membership fee of 2,000 (Two Thousand Yen).

Article III – AIMS AND OBJECTIVES-
Section 1.
AFAM has adopted the following as its aims and objectives:
1) To foster unity and friendship and networks among members.
2) To provide a forum for the discussion of issues pertaining to Africa.
3) African Business Initiative (ABI): To provide in collaboration Other like-minded organizations and in partnership with local companies; provide internship opportunities to AFAM members in line with the goals and objectives of members.
4) Global Poverty Initiative (GPI): To carry out fund raising initiatives with an effort to raise funds to support AFAM-led projects to be implemented within African countries.
5) To work towards achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within AFAM’s reached in both Miyagi and African countries where members are from.
6) To offer community services workshops to portray African values.
7) To promote cooperation with other organizations in Miyagi such as TUFSA, Mori Group, Gozain, etc. in the areas such as inter-association sports, cultural exchanges and fun fairs.
8) To promote social interaction between the members and within the Japanese community.
9) To co-ordinate with each other and offer assistance in emergency situations.
10) To help incoming African residence settle in the Miyagi Prefecture.
11) To act on other matters related to the aims and objectives as stated above.

Article IV – THE LEADERSHIP ORGAN
Section 1.
The Leadership organ of AFAM will consist of two levels of management. The Management board and The Executive team.
This is informed by the unique nature of the executive office holders not permanently residing in Japan (students) having to leave before their term of office expires.
The challenging communication hurdles of using both Japanese and English on matters concerning partnerships and sponsorships of initiatives and events undertaken by both AFAM and Japanese companies and organizations was also critical towards proposing of the same.
The members thought it wise to have a management team that shall consist of two/three Japanese who, upon acceptance of the invitation to serve in the management board shall join two AFAM permanent residents (at least one serving in the executive team) and the team shall be the AFAM Management board.

Section 11.
The MANAGEMENT board shall consist of the following officers
Chairman:
1) Shall provide guidance to the management team in seeking support for AFAM initiatives.
2) shall be the overall spokesperson for AFAM in consultation with the
management and the executive bodies.

Vice-Chairman:
1) Shall work with the chairman towards support for execution of AFAM initiatives.
2) Shall assume the duties of the chairman in the absence of the
president

Director of Operations 1: (One Japanese Associate Member)
1) shall make operational decisions and policies in consultation with
the Management & Executive teams
2) shall assist the President in advocating and promotion of AFAM in
matters concerning partnership and sponsorship of AFAM initiatives

Director of Operations 2: (One Japanese Associate Member)
1) shall work with and supervise the activities being initiated by
AFAM
2) shall play an advisory role advice on AFAM funding activities

The EXECUTIVE team is the main decision making body of AFAM and shall consist of the following officers:
a. President
b. Vice-President
c. General Secretary
d. Deputy General Secretary
e. Financial Secretary
f. Deputy Financial Secretary
g. Organizing Secretary
h. Deputy Organizing Secretary
i. Information Officer
j. Deputy Information Officers

Article V – DUTIES OF THE EXECUTIVE BODY
The duties of the executive officers shall be as defined below.
President:
1) shall preside over both the general and the executive body meetings.
2) shall be the overall spokesperson for AFAM in consultation with the executive body or other Organizations and officials.
3) Signatory to the AFAM Bank Account.
Vice-President:
1) shall assist the president in all official deliberations;
2) shall assume the duties of the presidency in the absence of the president.
3) shall in liaison with the General secretary appoint and/or oversee general elections.
General Secretary:
1) shall, in consultation with the executive body, prepare agenda for all general and executive body meetings; shall take minutes at both general and executive body meetings.
2) shall be responsible for the general correspondence of AFAM.
3) shall be in liaison with the Vice President, coordinate elections and appoint a returning officer.
4) Shall be in-charge of looking into the social support of members in case of any eventualities that will require the organization to offer assistance either in cash or in kind.
Deputy General Secretary
1) shall assist the general secretary in the above duties.
2) To stand in for the secretary and shall assume the office the general secretary in his/her absence.
3) shall be responsible for all sub-committee secretariat coordination.

Financial Secretary:
1) shall be responsible for collecting all dues.
2) shall be responsible for receiving, recording, depositing, and reporting fundraising collections.
3) Shall be responsible for maintaining any and all financial transactions or activities of the organisation.
4) Shall maintain all the books of accounts and accurate records of all AFAM’s transactions.
5) shall present quarterly financial statements to the general body.
6) Act as a signatory to the AFAM Bank Account.
7) Keeps a record of all funds collected, deposited and disbursed.
Deputy Financial Secretary
1) shall assist the financial secretary in the above duties
2) To stand in for the financial secretary and assume the office of the financial secretary in his/her absence.

Organizing Secretary:
1) shall be responsible for social and cultural functions.
2) shall prepare activity mini budgets for presentation to the executive body.
3) shall preside over fundraising functions.

Deputy Organizing Secretary
1) shall draw quarterly plans, in liaison with the Organizing Secretary, for the social and cultural functions.
2) shall be in-charge of internal marketing (lobbying) of the AFAM to the Japanese community.

Information Officer
1) shall be in charge of public relations
2) shall recruit new members.
3) shall be responsible for maintaining a database of all members.
4) shall be responsible for the association’s publication(s).
5) shall be responsible for the maintenance and regular updating of the association’s webpage.

Deputy Information Officers
1) Shall support the Information Officer in maintenance of the organization’s website.
2) Shall provide editing to articles, photographs, videos related to the organization’s activities.

Article VI – ELIGIBILITY FOR HOLDING OFFICE
Section 1.
All members of African Association of Miyagi of above 18 years age as defined by Article II, may vie for any one of the offices of the Executive.

Section 2.
Candidates who come forward to subject themselves to various elective posts, as in Article II Section 4, should have paid-up membership fee.
Section 3.
For the appointment of Japanese associate members to serve in the management board, they must have demonstrated an active participation in AFAM’s activities and should have paid up membership fees as per the stipulated amount for associate members.

Article VII – ELECTIONS
Section 1.
1) The general elections shall be done either through secret balloting, or e-voting. For secret ballot, elections shall be done on the date of the Annual general membership (AGM) meeting and for e-voting, a date prior to the AGM shall be set for the poll and the results announced at the AGM to be held every spring quarter.
2) The Outgoing Vice President and General Secretary shall appoint a returning officer on the election date to conduct the elections for secret ballot. In the absence, of a returning officer, the two will oversee the elections. For e-voting; the Information Officer shall be responsible for the administering of the poll. The results of the e-voting shall be opened and announced by an appointed returning officer on the day of AGM.
3) One half of the membership meeting may conduct elections either by secret ballot or e-voting.

Section 2.
1) Candidates to the executive positions shall present their names to the outgoing General Secretary, in preparation of election documentation one week prior to the elections.
2) All nominees for office should be present at time of election but, with prior arrangement, may be elected proxy.

Section 3
Voting rights shall not be of less than 18 years of age.

Article VIII – TENURE
Section 1.
1) Executive officers are eligible to hold the same office for more than 2 (two) consecutive terms.
2) A term shall constitute of one-year term period.

Article IX – REMOVAL OF OFFICERS
One half of the membership meeting may remove an officer on the petition of any member or spontaneous desistance of the Executive officer.

Article X – FILLING OF THE VACANCY OF AN OFFICE
Section 1.
Elections must be held within ninety (90) days after the vacancy occurs.
Section 2.
In the event that an election cannot be held within the required ninety (90) days, the Executive Body shall appoint someone to the vacant office until the next general elections.

Article XI – FINANCE
Section 1. Membership dues.
Each member above 18 years of age shall pay to AFAM a minimum amount of 2,000 yen annually as dues; payable by the end of May of each year.
Section 2.
Associate members who are drawn from persons of other countries except Africa are to pay an associate membership fee of 2,000 yen annually as dues; payable by the end of May of each year.

Section 3.
Additional funds to be obtained through fund-raising activities.
Article XII – FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS
Section 1.
a) All the financial transactions have to be approved as per the approval matrix to be decided by the Executive Management
b) All financial transactions exceeding the amount as stipulated by the Executive Management or financial policies shall not be payable by cash.
c) No payment shall be made out of the bank account(s) except sanctioned by the President and the Financial Secretary.
d) A petty cash, which shall not exceed the amount decided by the Executive Management shall be maintained by the Financial Secretary or Deputy Financial Secretary for day to day running of the organization

Section 2.
The Executive Body of AFAM must have an annual audit and the Financial Secretary shall report to the general members.

Article XIII – MEETINGS
Section 1.
A membership meeting shall be held at least once every quarter.

Section 2.
Emergency meetings shall be called by at least two of the Executive Body members upon request of any member of the Executive Body or of the membership.

Section 3.
Executive Body meetings shall be called by the President or, in his absence, by the Vice-President or General Secretary.

Article XIV – QUORUMS
Section 1.
One half of the members of the membership shall constitute a quorum of any membership meeting.

Section 2.
Five officers of the Executive Body shall constitute a quorum at any Executive meeting.

Article XV – CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
The constitution of the association may be amended upon petition by a member and on approval by one half vote of the membership.